The I.D., Without Any Ego


This, perhaps, is not specifically about design, but more about language and the semantics therein, but because it’s by Steven Heller, one of our favorite writers, and it appears in the AIGA journal, and, well, it includes the word “design” in it, we’re going to link it up. It’s “Who Owns Intelligent Design,” which is about just exactly what it sounds like, though, as said before, it’s more about the trickiness of language, more than that usual debate about which came first, the chicken or the deity. But beyond just the current events, Heller speaks about the ownership of language and how it applies to we creative types. Overall, a terrific read. Here’s the intro, to get you hookerd:

While recently reviewing a designer’s portfolio, I was struck by the brilliance of a certain campaign and enthusiastically exclaimed, “Now, that’s intelligent design!” The designer looked at me with a knowing smile. Of course, I said what I meant and meant what I said, but given contemporary argot, that simple phrase triggered a moment of introspection, and a second later I self-consciously added, “It’s also smart and sophisticated.” But after uttering this caveat, I asked myself why I was compelled to do so. Is the phrase “intelligent design” so totally co-opted that it no longer means what it means?